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Father Patrick O'Donnell
Father Patrick O’Donnell struggled through the flames and billows of smoke that filled the 75th story of the Citicorp bank building in New York City. It was ironic, he thought, that the smoke grenades he had used earlier as a diversion were now preventing him from reaching his target. As if the smoke wasn’t bad enough, he was also buckling under the weight of his partner, Rabbi Abraham Goldstein, who had taken a bullet to the stomach during the confusion.
“Who the hell shoots a rabbi in Manhattan?” said O’Donnell under his breath, as he heaved the last few feet forward and crossed the threshold of the marble and gold elevator that he had called. He placed Goldstein on the polished floor of the elevator, leaving a visible smear of dark red blood. In his haste he didn’t note the young woman huddled in the corner.
“Patrick, be sure to send a lazy man for the angel of death,” said Abraham with a weak smile.
“There will be no need old friend,” said Patrick reassuringly. “We’ll be out of here soon enough, and then we’ll get you the attention you need. Just hang in there for a few more minutes.”
Rabbi Abraham let out a slow breath and glanced slowly around the elevator; he could feel himself fading but was still very much aware of his surroundings. Then he noticed the frightened woman in the corner. He nudged Patrick. “My comrade, it appears we have a stowaway.”
Patrick wheeled around and stared down at the shaking, huddled body on the floor. “What is your name my child?” asked Patrick.
“Maria,” said the woman. Her makeup was smeared around her eyes as if she had been crying and she spoke in an almost inaudibly quiet voice.
“Do not be frightened my dear,” said Goldstein. “Did you see what happened up there?”
Maria answered with a small nod but did not look into the eyes of the rabbi. Goldstein sighed and eased himself into the opposite corner of the elevator and O’Donnell turned back towards the doors when suddenly, Maria was on her feet.
“How could you do such a thing?” She asked, confidence growing in her voice. “You two are supposed to be holy men, how can you commit such acts of violence and defiance. Do you feel no regret after creating mayhem and …” O’Donnell cut her short.
“Do not be so quick to judge us my child,” said O’Donnell with a hint of sadness in his voice. “We are indeed men of God and that is the reason for our disobedience.”
“He speaks the truth,” said Goldstein, the blood completely drained from his face. “I am going to die today for what I believe in.”
“And that is?” said Maria, some of the edge leaving her tone. But there was no answer. O’Donnell knelt down and placed a hand on his friend’s chest.
“He has passed,” said O’Donnell with tears welling in his eyes. “Maria, you have to help me get out of here. I only have one chance to…”
“Ding,” the elevator doors opened. A look of panic crossed O’Donnell’s face as he surveyed the S.W.A.T filled lobby. He turned quickly to Maria, “I’m sorry I don’t have time to explain myself, but please get this to its rightful owner,” Said O’Donnell as he reached into his jacket pocket and removed a small gold pin.
“You robbed a bank for this?”
“Please, just find its owner that’s all I’m asking of you. I’d explain if I could but I…”
O’Donnell was silenced as two S.W.A.T officers wrestled him to the ground and began beating him, forcing handcuffs around his wrists.
Maria let out a small cry as she watched Father Patrick O’Donnell struggle against his captors. She stared into his face and as he looked back, she squeezed the pin in her fist and nodded towards him, telling him that she would finish his work.
Be sure to send a lazy man for the angel of death.